A little over a week after her visit to Delhi, where her request that the Centre announce “dialogue” with separatists and other groups in the Valley was turned down, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the only one who could find a lasting solution to the situation in the state and lift it out of the “dal-dal (morass)” it was in.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating a flyover in Gandhi Nagar, Mufti, while referring to the recent turmoil in the state, said, “Mein aaj bhi yeh kehti hoon. Iske liye ho sakta hai ki mujhey criticise bhi kiya jaye, magar aaj bhi koi Jammu-Kashmir ki samasya ka koi samadhan, koi hal dhoond sakta hai to woh Narendra Modiji hain, aur koi nahin hain (I continue to say this… I could be criticised for this, but even today, if somebody can find a solution to J&K’s problem, it’s Narendra Modi).”
Referring to Modi’s 2015 visit to Pakistan, Mufti said it reflected his “strength”. “Unke pass mandate hai mulk ka. Woh jo bhi faisla karengey, jaise bhi karengey, mulk unko support karega. Aur yehi wajah hai ki woh ek gantey ke andar Pakistan chaley gaye,wahan ke prime minister se mile. Yeh kamjori ki nahin, takat ki nishani hai (He has the mandate of the country. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him. And that was the reason he went to Lahore in an hour and met the prime minister there. This is not a sign of weakness, but strength),” she said.
Without naming former prime minister Manmohan Singh, she went on compare his Pakistan policy with that of Modi and said, “Is se pehley jo wazir-e-azam they, das saal unki hukumat thi… Shahyad woh bhi koshish karna chahtey they ki dono mulkon mein jo confrontation hai usko khatam kar ke Jammu Kashmir ko is musibat se nikala jaye. Magar jurrat nahi ki. Jurat inhoney ki. Agar humare Prime Minister Narenda Modiji wahan gaye yeh unki takat ki nishani hai. unki moral strength ki nishani hai. Issi ki umeed se mein yeh samajti hoon ki agar Jammu Kashmir ko koi is dal dal se nikal sakta hai to woh Prime Minister Narendra Modiji hein (The last PM, he too had his government for 10 years at the Centre… Perhaps he too wanted to visit Pakistan and end the confrontation between both countires and bring J&K out of this trouble. But he did not show the courage, he [PM Modi] did. If our Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Paksitan, it is sign of his strength, of his moral strength. It’s with this in mind that I feel that he alone can take J&K out of this morass),” she said.
She also invoked former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said he and her father, former chief minister Mufti Sayeed, had worked hard to try and bring peace to J&K.
Within three years, she said, they were “successful” to a great extent — “India and Pakistan began talks on re-opening LoC routes for trade and travel, there was a drop in incidents of militant violence and peace prevailed on the borders. Unfortunately, after Mufti sahib went out of power and so did the Vajpayee government at the Centre, everything got stalled.”
On April 25, Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and was “unequivocally” told that the Centre couldn’t offer a “dialogue (with separatists and other restive groups in the Valley) while there is stone-pelting and militant violence”.
Mufti had come to New Delhi, with a request that the Centre “announce a dialogue and show reconciliatory gestures so that PDP gets some political room”, but that didn’t happen.